NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — “There’s a piece of my heart that was taken from me,” said Jessica Ludwig, mother of Jillian Ludwig.

Jillian, the 18-year-old Belmont University freshman from New Jersey, died after a bullet, intended for someone else, hit her head while she was on a walk in an Edgehill neighborhood park on Tuesday, Nov. 7, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.

“It’s kind of hard to comprehend,” said Matt Ludwig, Jilllian’s father. “She was thriving so well and doing so well in so many ways, in every way.”

From Belmont University in Nashville to The Church of Brielle in New Jersey, many prayed for and mourned with the Ludwigs.

“For it to all change so suddenly, it’s, it’s hard to, it’s hard to process,” said Matt. “It’s impossible to process.”

Jillian Ludwig
Jillian Ludwig (Courtesy: Erin Mangan, Deputy Mayor Wall Township)

The Wall Township Committee sent a letter to their New Jersey community on Thursday, Nov. 9, remembering Jillian and offering mental health resources.

It read, “We are incredibly saddened to hear about the tragic and untimely passing of Jillian Ludwig. Jillian was an exceptional young leader within our community. She graced us with her beautiful voice to sing the National Anthem at many township community events. Jillian was a member of the Young Women’s Leadership Committee of Wall Township and was the recipient of the 2023 Women’s Leadership Committee Scholarship Award.”

The suspect in the shooting, Shaquille Taylor, is currently in jail on a $280,000 bond as of Friday, Nov. 10. Nashville authorities said they are in discussions with the DA’s office to upgrade his charges following Jillian’s death.

A GoFundMe established for Jillian’s family has already raised nearly $40,000.